Miss Ealand is an absolutely superb character, and in my opinion, Norma portrayed her role in UFO just perfectly, and she will live on forever as Commander Straker's stalwart secretary and S.H.A.D.O. 'gatekeeper' at the Harlington-Straker Film Studios in the UFO universe. I absolutely adore her as the enigmatic Miss Ealand.
In my opinion, Norma played the part of Miss Ealand absolutely perfectly, and her character managed to tread the infinitesimally fine line of friendliness, discretion, competence, subtlety, privacy and complete and utter dependability for and to Commander Straker.
Norma's role as Miss Lingard (in both "The Plane Makers" and its follow-up, "The Power Game" 1963-9) did result in Gerry Anderson (a fan of the Power Game), casting Norma as Pam Kirby - secretary to Jason Webb in the film 'Doppelgänger'.
Norma then continued into Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO as Commander Straker's indomitable secretary, Miss Ealand! Miss Ealand is the literal gate-keeper of Commander Straker’s secret life, guarding the concealed entrance to S.H.A.D.O. Headquarters. In “Exposed” the significance of Ed Straker deciding to admit Paul Foster to S.H.A.D.O. is underlined when Straker tells Miss Ealand to let Paul Foster through the sliding doors into Straker’s office. She pauses, looking questioningly at Ed Straker as if she’s misheard him, forcing Straker to reassure her, “It’s alright Miss Ealand.” Miss Ealand is one of Ed Straker's most trusted operatives. She not only handled 'studio business' but knows the secrets of S.H.A.D.O. She endures interference with a blustery Henderson, dodge nosy reporters, direct and misdirect, watch for an incoming UFO's without panicking, and even sometimes handles Ed Straker in one of his moods or under stress without losing her unflappable composure.
Norma had her hair dyed blonde for Doppelgänger, and retained this look for UFO.
Miss Ealand (played by Norma Ronald) is Ed Straker's Executive Secretary at the Harlington-Straker Film Studios. However, Miss Ealand is actually a S.H.A.D.O. operative who merely masquerades as Ed Straker's movie studio secretary. Miss Ealand is the first line of defence against anyone entering S.H.A.D.O. Headquarters via Ed Straker's office/elevator.
Miss Ealand appears in the following UFO episodes:
08 A Question of Priorities
10 The Responsibility Seat
As Commander Straker enters Miss Ealand's office, he says, "Ah, Miss Ealand. Hard at it?". Miss Ealand answers, "I'm always hard at it; sometimes you notice... "
Miss Ealand's suspicions are confirmed as she is told that the Global Press Agency have no record of a Miss Jo Fraser on their books. She relays this information back to Commander Straker.
Miss Ealand is a S.H.A.D.O. operative who masquerades as Ed Straker's movie studio secretary, and is the gatekeeper against anyone entering S.H.A.D.O. HQ via Ed Straker's office/elevator.
Miss Ealand is naturally suspicious of Jo Fraser: Miss Ealand's observations and suspicions are never to be doubted . . .
Norma Ronald was born on Monday, the 1st of March, 1937 in Northumberland, England, United Kingdom.
Norma was an actress from age 15, she was taken on as an assistant stage manager and small-part actress by her local repertory company. Her first appearance on the stage was as a fifty-year-old woman. Norma joined the Leatherhead Repertory Company, and went on to other companies throughout England - the most renowned being the Joan Littlewood Workshop and the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon.
In 1962, Norma established the role of gormless teenage secretary, 'Mildred Murfin' in the brilliantly funny and long-running 1960's BBC radio series, 'The Men From The Ministry'. The series, which ran from 1962 to 1977 starred Richard Murdoch, Wilfred Hyde-White and later Deryck Guyler as incompetent Whitehall civil servants.
Norma continued to work on radio, appearing in 'The Mike and Bernie Winters Show'. During this time Norma also appeared as Sir John Wilder's ever-resourceful secretary Kay Lingard in both 'The Plane Makers' and its follow-up, 'The Power Game' 1963-9 and also in 'Doctor in the House' (with Richard Briars as Simon Sparrow) during July and August 1968. This appearance may have been instrumental in Norma not appearing in the final series of 'The Power Game', which commenced production in August 1968. However, her role as Miss Lingard did result in Gerry Anderson (a fan of the Power Game), casting Norma as Pam Kirby - secretary to Jason Webb in the film 'Doppelgänger'. Norma then continued into Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO as Commander Straker's indomitable secretary, Miss Ealand! Norma had her hair dyed blonde for Doppelgänger, and retained this look for UFO.
Norma was pregnant during the production break and latter half of the making of UFO and missed some episodes such as 'The Cat With Ten Lives'. Norma was replaced by Lois Maxwell – Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond films. However, some dialogue with “Miss Holland” (where Ed Straker tells her he’ll wait for Miss Ealand to read a movie script when she returns) suggests that Miss Ealand also helped maintain Straker’s secret identity as a movie boss.
In 1974, Norma Ronald appeared in the BBC Radio 2 series 'Husband of the Year'. It was organised in co-operation with local newspapers all over Britain, the series was a contest to find the most resourceful, tactful and loving husband of the year. Contestants were grilled by a panel of celebrities and also had to get themselves out of tricky situations in hypothetical scenarios performed by 'everybody’s wife, Norma Ronald.' The show was successful enough to transfer to ITV in 1975. Although host Macdonald Hobley was replaced by Pete Murray, Norma once again appeared as the uber-Wife putting husbands to the test.
Norma also appeared in 'The Frankie Howerd Show' on 2 November 1975, and later in 'Tony's', a 1979/1981 BBC radio comedy with Victor Spinetti, set in an Italian hairdresser's. Norma continued to appear in radio plays such as Ian Cullen's 'Angel of the Deep' (1976). She was united with 'The Plane Makers' James Cameron-Grant – Peter Jeffrey in Wally K Daley's 'What's Stigmata' . Jeffrey also starred as Acting Chief Constable Colonel Manton in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Kingsley Amis’ 'The Riverside Villas Murder' (26 June 1976). Norma Ronald starred as Mrs Trevelyan, the seductive neighbour of the teenage narrator. She also provided other vocal performances such as an adaptation of Spike Milligan’s 'Puckoon' for Columbia Records in 1980. Her last TV role was as the voice of the alien parent in 'Chocky's Challenge'(1986).
Norma and her future husband - Edward Judd (film: The Day The Earth Caught Fire) - reportedly met in the TV studios when he looked in for a drink in the bar. He later proposed to her in a bar in St. Ives, and they were married in 1966. Norma semi-retired from acting and confined herself to radio. Norma had two daughters (the first adopted through marriage (?) and Deborah, her daughter with Edward Judd).
Very tragically, Norma passed away due to cancer (or, possibly leukaemia) on Saturday, the 20th of November, 1993 (aged just 56) in Clara Vale, Ryton, Tyne and Wear, England.
With all my thanks, appreciation and best wishes to you and your loving family,
Griff @ S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories
Norma Ronald was a British actress best known for her appearances as Mildred Murfin in the 1960's BBC radio comedy series "The Men from the Ministry", also as Sir John Wilder's ever-resourceful secretary Kay Lingard in both The Plane Makers and its follow-up The Power Game (1963-9), and also as Miss Ealand, Commander Straker's personal secretary in the Gerry and Syklvia Anderson TV Series UFO.
Norma made an uncredited appearance in the 1969 Gerry Anderson film Doppelgänger (also known as 'Journey to the Far Side of the Sun').
She appeared in 'The Frankie Howerd Show' on the 2nd November 1975, and later in 'Tony's', a 1979/1981 BBC radio comedy with Victor Spinetti, set in an Italian hairdresser's.
Norma married fellow actor Edward Judd in 1966.
Tragically, Norma passed away due to cancer on the 20th of November, 1993 (aged just 56) in Clara Vale, Ryton, Tyne and Wear, England.
Griff @ S.H.A.D.O. Research Laboratories